How to Become an LPN in Georgia
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) work with nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals and technicians to provide efficient and effective medical care for their patients.
Becoming an LPN in GA requires specialized training and education, as well as strong attention to detail, physical stamina, compassion, and a desire to help others.
Education and Training
While course curriculum varies across institutions, most LPN schools in Georgia teach classes on:
- Medical Terminology
- Human Biology, Anatomy, and Physiology
- Sociology and Communication
- Mental Health
- Human Growth and Development
- Infection Control and Prevention
- Medical Recordkeeping and Charting
- Standard Nursing Practices
- Healthcare Ethics, HIPPA, and Patient Privacy Protocols
Students studying to become LPNs in Georgia must complete a certain amount of hands-on training hours in order to graduate from their educational programs. Your school might have an on-campus medical simulation center where you can practice your nursing skills on medical mannequins. However, most schools partner with local clinics and hospitals to arrange externships for LPN trainees.
Clinical rotations for aspiring LPNs in GA involve working with doctors, physician assistants, registered nurses (RNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and other medical professionals. During these externships, students practice the hands-on nursing skills they’ve learned in class and develop the bedside manner they’ll need to successfully care for actual patients.
While many LPNs perform general nursing tasks in hospitals and outpatient clinics, those who want to work in a particular area of medicine can undergo additional training and complete their clinical hours at a location that prepares them for a specialized LPN job in Georgia.
Depending on your preferences and career goals, you might consider specializing in one of the following fields:
- Long-Term Care
- Labor and Delivery
- Ambulatory Care
- Behavioral Health
- Urgent Care
- Rehabilitative Health
- Palliative or Hospice Care
How Long is LPN School in GA?
A typical certificate or diploma program for LPNs in GA might be about one year or three semesters long. However, there are some courses that take 18 months to complete. Associates degree programs take at least two years to finish.
Depending on where you attend classes, you might pay anywhere from $2,000 to $35,000 for an LPN certificate or diploma program. If you’re pursuing an associate’s degree, tuition, books, and study materials might start around $6,000 and go up to almost $50,000.
Georgia LPN Requirements
To become an LPN in Georgia, hopefuls must meet the following requirements from the state Board of Nursing:
- Complete an accredited LPN program
- Take the National Council Licensure Examination for LPNs (NCLEX-PN)
- -Pass a criminal background check
- Submit an LPN licensure application and pay all required fees
Once you graduate from your training course, visit the Georgia Board of Nursing website and follow the links to register for the NCLEX. You must pass this exam to demonstrate your level of expertise on industry-specific topics like:
- Safe and Effective Medical Care
- Health Promotion and Maintenance
- Physiological Integrity
- Psychosocial Integrity
LPN License Application
After receiving your passing score, you’ll need to complete an online or handwritten LPN license application form. Hopefuls must provide their contact information, official LPN program transcripts, and proof of identity and U.S. citizenship. Lastly, you must consent to a background check and register with the Georgia Applicant Processing Service (GAPS) to find a fingerprinting location in your area.
You’ll need to pay a $40 application fee and a $10 processing fee before submitting your documents. Evaluation and processing takes about 20 business days. During that time frame, you can check your application status on the Secretary of State website. Once you receive your license, you can begin applying for LPN jobs in Georgia.
LPN Salaries in GA
Employees working LPN jobs in Georgia typically earn about $46,467 per year. Depending on where they live and work, the average LPN salary in Georgia might be slightly higher or lower than the statewide average. The list below offers information about how much LPNs make in GA:
- Atlanta $50,086
- Macon $47,424
- Savannah $46,384
- Columbus $42,723
- Agusta $46,301
- Gainesville $46,592
As you gain more experience, you might earn performance-based raises that boost your annual earnings closer to $60,000 each year. Georgia LPNs who have specialized credentials that allow them to work in surgical or urgent care settings might make a yearly salary of about $90,000 or more.
LPNs in GA perform basic nursing care while under the direct supervision of a registered nurse. Depending on where they work, they might also help CNAs complete tasks that are outside their scope of practice. Most LPN jobs in Georgia require employees to:
- Monitor patients’ vital signs, including blood pressure, body temperature, heart and respiration rate, and glucose levels
- Perform standard wound care and bandaging
- Collect blood and fluid samples alongside phlebotomy techs
- Administer oral and topical medications and perform medication and vaccine injections
- Obtain EKG readings
- Gather and set up supplies before medical procedures
- Report changes in patients’ health conditions to the RN
- Update medical charts
Job outlook reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics predict a six-percent increase in demand for LPNs over the next decade. Experienced LPNs often contribute to this growth rate by earning their certifications to transition into RN careers. As a result, aspiring LPNs in GA might see several LPN jobs in Georgia become available between 2021 and 2031.